Last week marked a momentous occasion for our little sari blanket business! I created & posted an internship position for our business. All spring and summer, I’ve felt this same feeling pressed upon me: You need help. Expand the tribe. Get others involved. Supplement your weaknesses. Don’t try to do it all on your own.
Finally, I was ready for more people around here, I was ready to let go of some things, I was ready to take charge as a leader that can fearlessly captain this ship!
So, I posted it on my personal facebook page, as a start. Then I received a text message from my friend who owns a flower shop:
Huh. Yes. *Excellent* questions. I’m thinking perhaps I should have asked these questionsbefore posting it. Who’s in charge around here, anyways? Doesn’t anyone know what they’re doing?! [because other similar businesses in the USA run robust unpaid internship programs, I had not considered local, Canadian rules]
A couple of weeks ago, I attended the Yellow Conference, which was a group of 300 women “creatives” (bloggers, photographers, graphic designers, interior designers, etc.) working with a greater purpose. It sounds kind of pretentious, but maybe that’s what I am because it was a whole room of other women just like me!
Anyhow, one of the workshop leaders, Becky Simpson, said something that really resounded with me. She said that at points well along in her self-employment, she still felt like an impostor. “I was too far in to admit: I didn’t know what I was doing!” At least, she felt like she was too far in. Shame & embarrassment ruled; “how can I ask for help now?” she worried.
Hearing that was a huge relief to me. Other people also don't know what they're doing? Fortunately, shame & embarrassment don't get too much in my way. Pride, though... I can be too proud to ask for help or to admit need or failure. But, Becky's admission emboldened me; I was ready! The great irony is that when I finally embraced it and stepped out to ask for help, it completely revealed how much I don’t know!
When I started out, I knew very little about saris, blankets, kantha, importing, business... I’ve learned heaps since starting dignify and have a lot of wisdom to share, but I have NOT got it all figured out, friends. I often still feel like “I don’t know what I’m doing.”
Whether an entrepreneur, a shopper, a mom, a manager… don’t we all feel like this? Or is it just me?
I was inspired by a goal that Elise Joy (goal-setter extraordinaire) set for herself for 2020: "Get dressed (in an outfit I feel good in) every day."
In Bangladesh, there are some cultural “rules” about what to wear that is appropriate. This amounts, basically, to covering your curves: two layers over your chest and rear. When I was there for a week, I essentially wore the same thing every day (a long, plain navy, cotton tunic, as well as a scarf). That had its own benefits (the ease of a "uniform"!), but I was also thrilled to come home and wear what I wanted to again.
But, with the freedom to wear whatever I wanted, the question came: what did I want to wear?
One subject I find really interesting is learning some behind-the-scenes of business and marketing. I've written before about how online brands use email subscriptions, discounts, and scarcity tactics to sell and grow. Some elements can be manipulative, but overall, I am just fascinated by how all of these hidden intricacies work.
In e-commerce businesses (retail stores that are all online) like mine, it is common to grow for the sake of growing. More sales, more staff, more products… isn’t that the definition of success?
Listen, I know that there are book lists for DAYS out there. This is another one, and I'm not pretending otherwise! It is completely biased and based on nothing other than what I have read recently. I love to read, I love to receive recommendations, and I love to share the books that I've enjoyed with others.
Every one of these books is my recommendation to YOU, but there are also ideas of other people in your life who might enjoy them. 😉 Comment below or fire me an email with your own best, recent reads!